Patient Relations: Spotlight on Challenging Situations
The Doctors Company’s dedicated patient safety risk managers deliver a wide range of expert services and resources to our members—including personal telephone consultations to help guide members through challenging situations. A recent review of our call data shows that “patient relations” and “patient termination” consistently appear as the top reasons that members request assistance. The following strategies can help prevent challenging patient situations and provide guidance if one occurs.
Patient Safety in Spine Surgery
Spine surgery requires a series of best practice patient safety
interventions to reduce the frequency and severity of patient harm while
giving the care team the resources to mitigate such harm. Evidence-based clinical methods, pathways, and tools coupled with an evolving culture of patient safety through effective communication, teams, and teamwork has shown to reduce patient harm exponentially. Patient and clinical team experiences are enhanced while ensuring a learning culture is built that approaches surgery from both a technical and nontechnical approach alike.
Risky Practices: Hidden Liabilities Identified by Medical Office Assessments
Office practice assessments by The Doctors Company's patient safety risk managers uncover hidden liability risks, often exposing areas where patients can "fall through the cracks" and leave the practice vulnerable to a malpractice claim. Our Practice Risk INSIGHT, an assessment tool customized by specialty, zeros in on problematic areas. The assessments have been completed across a range of practice environments around the country—from small offices to practices that are part of large integrated delivery systems. In this course, we analyze the results of the Practice Risk INSIGHT assessments, highlight problem-prone areas and offer strategies to minimize liability.
Telehealth: Review Your Service Components
Many practices implemented telehealth overnight in response to pandemic restrictions on elective care. Practices already using telehealth saw huge increases in volume. This program presents a roadmap for practices to evaluate their telehealth implementation using the best practice tips identified herein and their own lessons learned.
A Deep Dive into Managing Orthopedic Risks (FORPG)
This course identifies the systems and processes that present risks for patient harm and have significant impact on patient outcomes in the orthopedic practice. The course draws from the results of the Orthopedic Office Practice Self-Assessments completed by The Doctors Company, members of the Florida Orthopedic Risk Purchasing Group, and from other orthopedic practices who are members of The Doctors Company.
Apr 02, 2021
Pre-Procedural Screening and Testing During COVID-19
Throughout the pandemic, surgeons have faced many challenges in adapting to new situations. Now that facilities have resumed elective surgeries, surgeons are facing additional challenges in evaluating and scheduling patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The strategies highlighted here can help ensure a consistent approach in keeping both patients and providers safe.
Mar 23, 2021
Prescribing Opioids Safely: How to Have Difficult Patient Conversations
Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and opioids account for over 60 percent of those deaths. Building a strong doctor-patient rapport can help facilitate tough conversations with patients about opioid prescriptions and reduce risks that could lead to malpractice suits.
Feb 26, 2021
Resources for Elective Procedures During COVID-19
Your patients most likely want to know about the safety of surgery during the pandemic and what occurs if they contract COVID-19 post-procedure. You may have questions about keeping your staff and patients safe, informing patients about new risks the pandemic has created, and potential liability risks you may be facing.
TeamSTEPPS® Teamwork Training in the Office Practice
This course provides an overview of the evidence-based TeamSTEPPS® concepts, tools, and strategies based on the four areas of 1) leadership, 2) mutual support, 3) situation monitoring, and 4) communication. TeamSTEPPS training provides teachable/learnable skills that improve
communication and teamwork among healthcare professionals in both acute care and ambulatory care environments.
HIPAA Fundamentals: 2021 Edition
This on-demand program provides an orientation to the basic requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA gives patients many rights with respect to their health information.
Dec 23, 2020
Podiatry: Lessons from Malpractice Claims
We analyzed 162 podiatric claims to identify top allegations and factors contributing to patient injury.
Dec 23, 2020
Orthopedics Case Study: The Danger of EHR Templates
This example of an orthopedic claim involving accurate medical record documentation illustrates the importance of exercising caution when using EHR templates.
HIPAA for Managers: The High-Level View
The program explores and defines HIPAA policies and procedures, business associate agreements, security assessment and analysis, training requirements, HIPAA compliance requirements, breach events, and informed consent.
Prevention of Diagnostic Error in Primary Care
Diagnostic errors occur often in primary care settings and can impact over 12 million outpatients annually. This is a top patient safety concern and a global burden. Significant patient harm can occur due to treatment delay, testing, or misdiagnosis. This course is an opportunity to promote awareness and visibility by identifying where these errors occur most often in the diagnostic process of care framework.
It's the Little Things: An Introduction to Enhancing Patient Relations and Reducing Risks
It's the Little Things is designed to assist medical practices with improvements in patient interactions by looking at how incorporating hospitality as a focus makes a difference. It has been developed to improve multiple facets of patient interaction.
Dec 02, 2020
The Role of Pretest Probability in the Evaluation of Suspected Venous Thromboembolism
The presenting signs and symptoms of venous thromboembolism are often vague and nonspecific, and early diagnosis—often crucial to the patient’s outcome—may be challenging.
The Doctor’s Advocate
Spotlight on Diagnosing PE/DVT
The overall incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) —including both deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) —is one case per 1000 patient years. Accurate and timely diagnosis of VTE can be improved with the use of diagnostic guidelines such as Wells criteria and scoring for both DVT and PE.
Medical Error Prevention
The purpose of this monograph and continuing medical education activity is to provide physicians with the most current information regarding the prevention of common performance and diagnostic errors.
Safe and Effective Opioid Prescribing – Florida Edition
The Doctors Company recognizes the opioid epidemic in this country. This course provides insights into the risks of opioid usage, as shown by malpractice claims, and how to reduce those risks both for your patient and for your practice. Approved by the Florida Board of Medicine—Controlled Substance Prescribing.
Prevention of Medical Errors: CME Risk Management Course for Florida Practices
This activity is specific to Florida statutes and reflects regulations effective February 2020. Few medical errors are attributed to faulty medical judgment. More commonly, they are attributed to system failures inherent in healthcare delivery. By drawing on our professional liability closed claims data, we have identified common performance and diagnostic errors that reflect on the most common issues identified by Florida—wrong site surgery, surgery complications, cancer, Ob/Gyn related conditions, gastroenterology conditions, cardiology issues, neurological issues, and adverse drug events—that will serve as the focal point of this patient safety and risk management course.
Oct 05, 2020
Orthopedics: Informed Consent
Inadequate informed consent communication between the surgeon and the patient/family is a top factor contributing to claims against orthopedists.
Cauda Equina Syndrome: A Failure to Diagnose
Failures of systems often prevent physicians from making timely diagnoses. Failures may result when patient assessments are incomplete, having a narrow diagnostic focus, or diagnostic test issues. Other factors that hinder timely diagnoses include failure to appreciate signs and symptoms, lack of consults, and failure to respond to repeated patient concerns/symptoms.
Telemedicine to Telehealth: Trends and Emerging Risks
This course explores challenges and risks such as privacy and security, licensure, and technology concerns that might instigate a malpractice claim. The risks overlay the inherent challenge of replicating the interaction of a traditional, in-person encounter between a provider and a patient, without compromising the standard of care. It also provides resources for clinicians and practice managers to consider when making decisions about deploying telehealth services or to improve existing services.
Aug 25, 2020
Distracting Devices in Healthcare: Malpractice Implications
Digital distraction in healthcare is a threat to patient safety and physician well-being. Personal electronic devices can create a digital distraction so engaging that it consumes awareness, potentially preventing healthcare providers from focusing on the primary task at hand—caring for and interacting with patients.
Making an Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training for Healthcare Leaders
This activity is designed for healthcare professionals in leadership positions. It covers the principles of informed consent, crafting and disseminating an informed consent policy, and building systems to improve the informed consent process.
Making an Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training for Healthcare Professionals
This activity, designed for doctors, nurses, and other providers, examines problems with the process of healthcare informed consent. It describes the principles of informed consent and highlights the benefits gained from a good informed consent process.
Jun 29, 2020
Why Medical Clearance Is Really a Preoperative Evaluation
The goals of the preoperative evaluation are to determine the patient's level of risk and to identify opportunities to mitigate it.
Jun 18, 2020
Moderate or Conscious Sedation in the Office Setting
Prevent patient injury when providing moderate sedation in the office by incorporating these patient safety and practice improvement strategies.
Physician-Patient Relationship: When Does it Begin and When Does it End?
This enduring program will assist the participant in understanding the principles which form the establishment of a physician-patient relationship, as well as the concerns which may result in the need for the physician to consider terminating the physician-patient relationship. Additionally, the concepts of providing patient centered care will be presented for the learner’s consideration.
May 13, 2020
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Malpractice Claims: Lessons Learned
We analyzed closed physical medicine and rehabilitation claims to better understand what motivates allegations of injury.
May 01, 2020
Informed Consent for COVID-19 Risks: Frequently Asked Questions
To support our members and the entire medical profession during this unprecedented time, the following are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding informed consent for COVID-19 risks.
Internal Medicine: When Personal Relationships Interfere with the Standard of Care
Physicians and dentists are often faced with the decision whether to treat friends and families without realizing the inherent risks in doing so. A review of one case will highlight some common circumstances and risks associated with the treatment of friends and family members.
Dec 12, 2019
Making Further Advancements in Anesthesia Care Safety
We analyzed 459 claims for new trends in anesthesia care.
The Doctor’s Advocate
Spotlight on Anesthesia Claims: Moving the Needle
In this course we will show how comorbidities complicated the delivery of good anesthesia care. And we will share how important a thorough history and physical is to identifying potential problems that occur in the administration of anesthesia care.
Safe and Effective Opioid Prescribing - Georgia Edition
This three-hour learning activity provides instruction on controlled substance prescribing guidelines, recognizing signs of abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management, as delineated in Georgia Rule 360-15-.01. It also provides tools and resources to assist in educating staff and informing patients.
Prescribing Opioids Safely
Faced with an opioid-related epidemic that continues to bring addiction and deaths, it is important to define the role of opioids for both acute and chronic pain management. This activity spotlights the epidemic and presents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, regulations, studies, and emerging solutions to address the epidemic and allow for effective and appropriate use of these drugs.
Safe and Effective Opioid Prescribing - Michigan Edition
This three-hour learning activity provides instruction on controlled substance prescribing guidelines, recognizing signs of abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and requirements delineated in Michigan’s law. It also provides tools and resources to assist in educating staff and informing patients.
Nov 05, 2019
When Treating Kids, Learn from the Emergency Department
To prevent communication gaps when treating kids, all specialties can benefit from lessons learned in the Emergency Department, where conversations are rushed, stakes are high, teams are assembled ad hoc, and physicians seldom have relationships with the patient.
Sep 05, 2019
Advanced Practice Provider Closed Claims: What Can We Learn?
Top allegations in our claims analysis involving advanced practice providers centered on diagnosis.
The Doctor’s Advocate
Aug 27, 2019
Electronic Health Records Continue to Lead to Medical Malpractice Suits
We analyzed 216 medical malpractice claims that closed from 2010 to 2018 in which EHRs contributed to patient injury. The pace of these claims grew, from a low of seven cases in 2010 to an average of 22.5 cases per year in 2017 and 2018. As EHRs approach near-universal adoption, they may become a more prevalent source of patient safety risk.
Advanced Practice Providers Closed Claims: What Can We Learn?
A recent study by the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that the U.S. would need an additional 95,900 doctors, 22,700 NPs, and 12,800 PAs immediately if healthcare use patterns were equalized across race, insurance coverage, and geographic location.
More understanding of the liability associated with APPs can help provide insight on the current situation and identify strategies that decrease risk, improve patient safety, and advance patient care.
Physical Examination and Its Impact on Outcomes
Advancements in technology improve the timeliness and accuracy of many diagnoses but the technology does not replace a thorough physical examination. For some diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, herpes zoster, cellulitis, and Bell’s palsy the PE is the only diagnostic tool available. This short course makes the case for reversing the downward trend for physical examinations.
Video Apr 09, 2019
Study of Malpractice Claims Involving Children
Patient safety risks when treating children vary depending on the patient’s age—but communication breakdowns between doctors and patients/families occur in malpractice claims for pediatric patients of ALL ages. Watch this important case study to learn more.
Mar 20, 2019
Study of Malpractice Claims Involving Children
The Doctors Company analyzed 1,215 claims filed on behalf of pediatric patients that closed from 2008 through 2017. The study is based on the claims filed against physicians in 52 specialties and subspecialties and includes an overview of the most common types of claims, expert insights into the specific elements that led to patient injury, and risk mitigation strategies.
Opioid Pain Management and Appropriate Prescribing for Older Adults
This activity includes five video segments on effective pain management and appropriate prescribing of opioid medication for older adult patients. Presenters include a family practice physician, orthopedic surgeon, palliative care physician, and a pain management specialist provider.
Video Mar 21, 2018
What to Expect from Litigation: Dr. Wuest's Perspective
Thomas K. Wuest, MD, MMM, an orthopedic trauma surgeon in Eugene, Oregon, describes his experience defending himself against a medical malpractice suit involving a man who fell over 20 feet from a utility pole and sustained multiple injuries.
Video Oct 03, 2017
Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery: Innovations in Patient Safety
Douglas W. Lundy, MD, MBA, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Resurgens Orthopaedics in Atlanta, Georgia, describes changes his practice made to improve patient safety based on the data and recommendations in The Doctors Company’s Orthopedics Closed Claims Study. The study revealed that most claims against orthopedists do not reflect the quality of care, but the patient’s perception of the care. Many lawsuits stem from known complications of the procedure.
Video Jul 24, 2017
The Opioid Epidemic: A Closed Claims Analysis
Opioids play an important role in pain management—both in the acute and chronic settings. Unfortunately, the dramatic increase in opioid use over the past few decades has resulted in an opioid-related epidemic of addiction and death. To take a deeper look at the epidemic, The Doctors Company reviewed 272 malpractice claims in which patient harm involved opioids.
Video Jun 13, 2017
Orthopaedics: Innovations in Patient Safety
Ralph A. Gambardella, MD, an orthopedic surgery and sports medicine specialist with the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California, describes changes his practice made to improve patient safety based on the data and recommendations in The Doctors Company’s Orthopedics Closed Claims Study. Patient behaviors are a factor in over one-third of orthopedic claims.
Jun 06, 2017
Prescribing Opioids Safely
Dr. Howard Marcus discusses guidelines and recommendations for preventing opioid misuse and addiction in patients with acute or chronic pain.
The Doctor’s Advocate
Feb 18, 2017
Up for Review: Five Keys to Managing Online Criticism
No matter how professional and caring a doctor you may be, eventually you will face criticism on the web. Here are five keys to managing that criticism.
Aug 26, 2015
Orthopedics Closed Claims Study
The study of 1,895 orthopedics malpractice claims identified the most common patient allegations and the specific factors contributing to patient injury.